Tips for Staying Healthy and Happy in Your Golden Years

Senior couple doing sport and physical exercises outdoor. Active senior man and elderly woman doing workout at park. Aged couple doing their stretches in the park.
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While we may wish we knew how to stay young, there are over 52 million Americans who are 65 and older. Accepting the inevitable and aging gracefully is more than just avoiding things that could cause harm, like cigarettes and alcohol.

Moving from chapter to chapter in life comes with new challenges, like our bodies not doing what we want them to do, muscle atrophy, and trouble sleeping. You can’t reverse aging, and staying fit in your old age might seem like a lot of work, but you can learn how to slow down the process.

Continue reading for some tips and tricks on how to feel like you stop aging now, even if only mentally, so you can enjoy life to the fullest.

Science Behind Aging Gracefully

Telomeres are the part of our DNA that helps protect the ends of our chromosomes from degrading. Each time a cell splits to replace damaged or dead cells, telomeres get shorter. This shortening of telomeres and aging link to disease.

We can’t control every disease that we get, but we can do our best to keep our cells healthy. This is where the idea of reverse aging or staying young comes from. The better you treat your body, the longer it has the potential to stay disease-free.

Aging and Exercise

Many people feel like they can’t keep exercising after they turn 50. The truth is that exercising is a great way to slow down the aging process.

Your muscles begin to atrophy and lose tone the older you get. There are safe programs for seniors to lift weights, participate in cardiovascular activity, and work towards fitness goals.

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Yoga helps the body stay limber and the mind to stay active. Join a neighborhood walking group or a pickleball team at a local gym. Swimming or water aerobics takes the pressure off your body and allows you to exercise even if you have a sore knee or back.

Eat Healthy Meals

A common misconception when thinking about healthy food for seniors is oatmeal and prunes. No one is going to look forward to that every day so changing the mindset around what healthy food actually is could help.

A diet of rich, leafy greens, whole grains, tender meats, and fruit allows for delicious and appetizing meals, while also feeding your body what it needs. Nuts and seeds, legumes, and salmon are healthy heart options to add to your plate.

Relax

Stress is harmful to the body because it releases adrenaline into your system. It can lead to burnout, hurt your immune system and cause sleeping issues. When you sleep well, your body is able to heal.

Consider taking time each day to do self-care for yourself, in a way that will release your stress.

Take Steps as You Age

There is no one key to aging gracefully, but exercising, eating healthy, and keeping a positive mindset are a few of the ways that you can feel younger. Keep these things in mind as you face the upcoming months and years so that you can flourish as you age.

If you enjoyed this article, our Life and Style section has more like it.

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